About Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu also called Pura Luhur Uluwatu is popular among tourists for its splendid location. The word Ulu means the tip or top and watu signifies rock or stone. The magnificent temple is seated on a steep cliff top, about 70 meters above sea level. It’s one of the six prominent temples looked upon as Bali’s sacred pillars.
The temple is known for breathtaking sunsets just like Tanah Lot Temple, gracing the picturesque island of Bali. The inner sanctum or chamber of Uluwatu Temple is perched on the steep edge cliff, imposing over the island’s famous surf that breaks south.
Uluwatu Temple is a traveler’s paradise for its stunning views of the ocean and delightful Kecak dance performances hosted at an amphitheater close to the temple. The striking feature of Pura Luhur Uluwatu is its Balinese architecture, prehistoric sculptures, and conventonally designed gateways, adding to the temple’s attraction.
You will find numerous archaeological remains around the temple, which indicates that the Uluwatu Temple dates back to approx tenth century. The temple has two entrances, one from the north and the other from the south.
The temple is surrounded by a small forest, inhabited by numerous monkeys, supposed to be the devoted guardians of Uluwatu Temple in Bali. Strong concrete walls on the cliffside protect the meandering pathway of this beautiful temple.
It takes around an hour or so to reach one end of the temple to the other. You will find numerous fenced points down the way to the temple, where you can halt for a while to rest or relax. The stunning views of the ocean waves rushing up against the rocks and beautiful horizon will leave you awestruck.
Bali’s Hindu community considers that power of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu, the Hindu Trinity, come together here in this temple. Their belief led to the construction of Uluwatu Temple, the worship place of Shiva Rudra, who is the Hindu deity of all aspects and essentials of life in this world.
How to Reach Uluwatu Temple
You can reach the temple from Bali Airport via JL Raya Uluwatu Pecatu, taking you around 45 minutes. You can take a cab that will cost you approx 300,000 IDR or 1426 INR or board the Perama bus that takes tourists to different parts of the island. You can also take scooters to reach the temple at an affordable price.
Best Time to Visit Uluwatu Temple
1. June to August is the best time to head for Uluwatu Temple because there are coldest months on the island.
2. You can visit this beautiful temple is during the morning if you would like to worship in quiet and peace. The temple opens at 9 am. The place remains less crowded and so, you can offer your prayers with enough time without any rush.
3. You can also visit the temple before sunset if you love to watch the Kecak dance performance held daily at the adjoining cliff-top stage between 6 pm to 7 pm.
What Not to Miss at Uluwatu Temple
Places to visit near Uluwatu Temple
There are many places to visit near Uluwatu Temple. They are:
- The waves here are intense and quick to make Uluwatu Beach one of the best surfing spots in Bali. You can also spend some relaxing time taking in the scenic views around with your loved ones.
- The beach is also famous for its stunning sunset views. Take in the beauty of the changing sky of the color.
- You can also splash in the water and also take a swim at Uluwatu Beach with your family and kids.
2. Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
- Be mesmerized while seeing the 21-story monument that shows the idol of Lord Vishnu, who is seen riding the legendary bird, Garuda. You will find many entertainment zones such as the Garuda Cinema and watch the Balinese movie to understand its rich history.
-You can even take a tour of the 60-hectare park featuring GWK loop buses with big windows to let you take delight in the surrounding views sans any obstruction. Visit the Amphitheater to learn about the story of Lord Vishnu as well as history from the engraved ceilings and walls.
3. Bali Fun World
- Head for the largest indoor waterpark in Bali,which is considered one of the most sought-after places to visit on the island. The park boasts of eight meters of modules including pumps, water rides as well as creeping places.
- Bali Fun World also has a ball pool, the perfect place for your kids to drift on the softballs or take a swim. Kids who are at least six years old are allowed to take the water rides or swim.
4. Sukawati Art Market
- It is the oldest art market near Uluwatu, where a majority of the shopkeepers are craftsmen and artists. If you are a lover of art, you can art and décor items directly from them.
- The items will remind you of Balinese art in many forms, including paintings, handicrafts, and elaborately made wood sculptures. Shop for clothing items, colorful bed sheets displaying abstract art that you will love to use. Besides garments and beddings, you can also buy aromatherapy products such as incense sticks.
Other Essential Information About Uluwatu Temple
Location: Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Timings: The temple timings are from 7 am to 7 pm from Monday to Sunday.
Price: The entrance fee of the temple is 15,000 IDR for local tourists and 30,000 IDR for foreigners visiting Bali. All payments need to be made in Indonesian Rupiah. You must wear a sash and sarong for a temple visit and these are included in the entrance fee.
History of Uluwatu Temple
According to the temple inscriptions, a Majapahit monk, Mpu Kuturan, initiated the construction of Uluwatu Temple. Mpu was also known for the construction of many other temples on the island of Bali.
A sacred priest hailing from eastern Java, Dang Hyang Dwijendra, preferred Uluwatu Temple to become the final destination of his pious journey. Many devotees consider that Dhang attained the peak point of his spiritual oneness by the striking of lightning and then the saint vanished.
Dhang after finishing a pious journey in Bali and thereafter returned to this temple, attaining Moksha. He passed away, completely disappeared, leaving his worldly existence and entering heaven or swargaloka. The temple was not accessible to the people until the year 1983 and after a lightning strike back in 1999, some portions of Uluwatu Temple were ablaze.
Since that time, the temple witnessed many renovation efforts to make it accessible to tourists. The legend goes as Dhang Hyang Dwijendra also called Danghyang Nirartha was the key designer of this spectacular temple and many others on the beautiful island of Bali, Sumbawa, and Lombok.
Another perception relating to the history of this temple is that Empu Kuturan has constructed Uluwatu Temple in the ninth century AD during the reign of Marakata.
Architectural Features of Uluwatu Temple
The two key entrances of the temple features split gates having floral and leave carvings. The front portion of these gates have a few sculptures resembling the human body with the head of an elephant. The temple represents Balinese architecture.
One of the striking architectural features of Uluwatu Temple is the 16th century Pura Dalem Jurit, featuring three statues and one of them is that of Lord Brahma.The other architectural marvels are dual troughs in the temple region, and if both are joined, they form a sarcophagus or Megalithic Coffin.
The major attractions of Uluwatu Temple are its traditional gateways, Balinese-style structural design, and old sculptures to mesmerize tourists from all over the world. The temple’s architectural style is a one-off with its palm-leaf black roof massed into the color black.
Uluwatu Temple Highlights and Features
The inner court of Uluwatu Temple features an open space with stone flooring and wooden building close to the north gate. Behind the key shrine, you will find a statue of a Brahmin, which faces the Indian Ocean. It is believed that the statue represents Dang Hyang Dwijendra.
Towards the west, from the entry path, you will notice a Paduraksa Gate opening the path right into the subsequent inner court. The roof here, unlike the others outside, the stone gate is complete with a proper roof. The door represents an arch enclosed with a collection of stones and a huge sculpture of a head just over the frame.
The top of this gate resembles a crown adorned with relief sculpture, which is a sight to behold. Next, you will find a small rectangle-shaped court towards the south that extends above the ocean expanse. The wooden structure at the court’s end appears like a sitting area, where tourists can relax and take in the beauty of the ocean.
Uluwatu Kecak Dance
You will get an interesting glimpse into Balinese culture and performing arts when you visit Uluwatu Temple in Bali. Take delight in the Kecak dance hosted on the open stage of this temple. The dance performance commences at 6 pm and ends soon after sundown.
A dance troupe of 75 male dancers moves down onto the open stage with arms stretched and shaky hands held up in the air while singing their quick-paced Chak choruses over and over again.
The prelude consists of the five episodes of the great epic Ramayana with graceful dancers attired in decorative costumes enacting the epic with fast or slow tempos. The dance troupe looks marvelous on stage complementing a scene of love or trepidation.
The synopsis of Kecak dance is the story of Lord Rama, the Ayodhya prince exiled by his father, King Dasaratha after a conspiracy hatched by Rama’s stepmother Queen Kaikeyi. Then, Rama’s wife follows him and gets kidnapped by Ravana of Lanka. Then, Rama with the aid of monkey King Hanuman and his army set Sita free from Ravana’s clutches, after Ravana is killed in the battle.
The two lovers, Rama and Sita reunite once the sunsets and the fire burns and flickers in the middle of the stage against the backdrop of the dark sky and chants subsiding. Watch the fire dance with the sunset in the background.
The ticket prices of Kecak dance is 100,000 IDR per head. Book tickets in advance to avoid the rush and get the best seats. Head for the stage before 5 pm.